Boys basketball: No. 1 Goodhue rallies from 10 down in the second half to advance to Section 1A title game

No. 1 Goodhue overcame a 46-36 deficit in the second half to beat No. 4 Lyle/Austin Pacelli 54-51 in Section 1A boys basketball semifinal play.

Carl Truckenmiller.jpg
Lyle/Austin Pacelli boys basketball coach Carl Truckenmiller, kneeling, instructs his team during a timeout during Section 1A boys basketball semifinal play on Saturday, March 11, 2023, at Mayo Civic Center in Rochester. No. 1 seed Goodhue rallied to defeat No. 4 L/P 54-51.
Guy N. Limbeck / Post Bulletin

ROCHESTER — There is no quit in the Goodhue boys basketball team.

The Wildcats, seeded No. 1 in the Section 1A tournament, found itself down 46-36 with nine minutes to play against No. 4 Lyle/Austin Pacelli in the semifinals on Saturday. Goodhue then cranked up its defensive pressure and went on to post a 54-51 victory.

“This team just doesn’t give up,” Goodhue coach Matt Halverson said. “They don’t panic, they don’t make double mistakes. Even if they make one mistake, they respond.”

When the Wildcats were in a hole, they used their defense to claw back into the game. Some defense traps led to some huge turnovers and helped the Wildcats end the game on an 18-5 run.

“We had to turn it up and we did,” 6-foot-7 Goodhue senior Will Opsahl said. “We forced some big turnovers.”


Opsahl had 14 of his 22 points in the second half for Goodhue. He also hit two of the Wildcats five 3-pointers in the second half.

Will Opsahl mug.jpg
Will Opsahl

“I don’t plan on losing and we needed to get things going so I decided to step up,” Opsahl said. “It’s my fourth year on varsity so I just stay comfortable in those situations and stay calm and start hitting some shots.”

Halverson said a word to describe his team is “resiliency.”

“They’re just able to battle through all that adversity,” he said. “I think part of that is just because we have a lot of guys who have played a lot of basketball and have a lot of experience. Our senior leadership has been excellent the whole year.”

It was Goodhue's defensive pressure that helped turn the tide in the second half. Jake Truckenmiller had three of L/P's six triples in the first half when he scored 11 of his 14 points. Three other L/P players hit threes in the first half as the Athletics built a 27-20 lead at the break.

“They’re an explosive team and we knew they were going to have a good first half,” Opsahl said. “But we made some adjustments at halftime and we seemed to play with a little more fire.”

Goodhue was without starter Gavin Schafer, who suffered an ankle injury in practice earlier in the week. Halverson said it took the Wildcats a while to adjust.

“We just didn’t communicate very well the first half and part of it was just the atmosphere, it’s so loud in here,” Halverson said. “In the second half, we did a better job of knowing where those guys are and taking them away so they didn’t get as many easy looks.”


Halverson also decided to use a trapping defense in the second half and the move worked to perfection. The Athletics had eight of their 14 turnovers over the final 18 minutes.

“They outhustled us and made us turn over the ball,” L/P senior Buay Koak said. “After we made those mistakes, they just capitalized.”

Junior Jed Ryan and freshman Luke Roschen hit big back-to-back 3-pointers to help the Wildcats start their comeback when they were down 46-36.

Senior Adam Poncelet, who had eight of his 10 points in the second half, added two big inside baskets late. His hoop with 3:22 left gave Goodhue the lead for good at 49-48. His then scored 1:18 left after an L/P turnover to give Goodhue a 52-48 lead.

The Athletics then missed three 3-pointers on their next possession. Opsahl finally snared a rebound for Goodhue and made two free throws with 24 seconds to put the margin at 54-48.

Koak, a 2,000-point scorer who finished concluded his stellar career with 23 points, hit a 3-pointer for L/P with to cut the margin to three in the closing seconds. The Athletics would not get a chance to tie the score, however, as Goodhue closed out the win.

“It’s frustrating,” Koak said. “Everything we had planned, it worked well for most of the game. It was just at the end.”

Goodhue (25-3) will face No. 2 Spring Grove (28-1) in the section title game on Thursday at 6 p.m. at Mayo Civic Arena.


Goodhue 54, Lyle/Austin Pacelli 51
Hunter Bauer 3 P, 1 3-PT; Jake Truckenmiller 14 P, 4 3-PT; Trey Anderson 2 P; Mac Nelson 6 P, 2 3-PT; Landon Meyer 3 P, 1 3-PT; Buay Koak 23 P, 4 3-PT.
No. 1 GOODHUE (54)
Justin Buck 5 P; Will Opsahl 22 P, 2 3-PT; Tristan King 3 P, 1 3-PT; Jed Ryan 3 P, 1 3-PT; Adam Poncelet 10 P; Luke Roschen 11 P, 3 3-PT.
Halftime: 27, GOOD 20.
Free throws: 3-6, GOOD 9-18.
Three-point goals: 12, GOOD 7. Field goals: LP 18-46, GOOD 19-40. Rebounds: LP 30, GOOD 24

Guy N. Limbeck is a Rochester native who has been working at a daily newspaper since 1981. He has worked at the Post Bulletin since 1999. Readers can reach Guy at 507-285-7724 or
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